Parents, welcome back to our Music Together Spring Session semester at the Grosse Pointe Music Academy. We at Music Together of Grosse Pointe are so excited to share our new songs from the Triangle collection with you and your child. Whether you have experienced our classes before, or are new to Music Together, we want to share with you what it means to be a musical parent. You may think this means playing an instrument proficiently or having a fantastic singing voice. Quite the opposite, in fact! A musical parent is a parent who models music making as a natural part of everyday life. Music can be made while changing diapers, making dinner, driving in the car, or washing dishes! Making music in these situations is not about performance, it’s about participation. You as the parent or caregiver are your child’s best model. If you want your child to enjoy music and participate it in freely, then, YOU must model enjoying music and participating it in freely! This is musical parenting! Parents do not need to worry that they are not the “best” music model for their child or that they will in “hurt” their child’s music development. Parents are not modeling music performance, but music participation. Model for your child the disposition to be musical and then watch the music unfold in them naturally! Your singing voice is actually more powerful to your child than a trained music teacher or professional singer, because they are connected emotionally to your voice.
Dogs play piano!
If you’re one of those people who say something like: “I’d like to play music, but I don’t have any rhythm” then watch this video. Not to take anything away from the intelligence of dogs, but if they can do it then so can you! I’m not saying that you have what it takes to perform on the world’s biggest stages just because these dogs can recite what they hear, but I do think that if dogs can do this then you can learn fundamental musical proficiency on one instrument or another. I know that there are many people who have always wanted to learn guitar, or learn piano, or some other instrument but have avoided it day after day because they fear that the learning curve is just too steep. There will always be professionals that take any and all subjects to the highest levels but you don’t have to be the best to enjoy yourself and you don’t have to be the best to be really good. All you need to do is pick your musical instrument and dedicate some time for learning. I’ve seen some people make outstanding progress by dedication 20-30 minutes daily. Seriously, just 20-30 minutes daily. Just cut out 20-30 minutes of CNN or ESPN and you’ve made enough time for your music practice. I can promise you also that you won’t miss anything, news stations repeat the same information every 15 minutes anyhow.
“I always loved music; whoso has skill in this art is of good temperament, fitted for all things. We must teach music in schools; a schoolmaster ought to have skills in music, otherwise I would not regard him.”
-Martin Luther (1483-1546)
The above quote clearly expresses Martin Luther’s opinion on human beings. My translation of Luther’s quote would be something like: If you’re no good at music, then you’re not well educated. It would be nice to have an interview with Martin Luther to see exactly what he meant. Since he died well over 400 years ago though we can only speculate on his answers but here are some of the questions I would ask:
1. Does your statement mean that even science instructors should know music?
2. What about physical education teachers?
3. What will happen to the millions of students that are not getting any music education in the United States and around the world?
4. What exactly is so profound about learning music that makes you say everyone should learn?
5. Should everyone learn voice and an instrument? Multiple instruments?
These are just a few of the questions that I can think of now but would most likely have more if I could hear Martin Luther elaborate on this. Does anyone know the source of this quote and whether or not there exists any further thoughts?
It seems to be easier and easier to find highly regarded people claiming these astonishing things about music. I happen to think that music has provided for me a great deal of discipline as well as joy. I personally am not willing to make a statement that I don’t regard a teacher for what he teaches if he doesn’t know music. I think it’s a bit extreme to fire the home economics teacher just because she can’t play “Flight of the Bumblebee”. Are these quotes just conjured by the music industry to sell their products and service or is there something that incredible about music and music education that makes people say these things?
Grosse Pointe Music Academy
2 location serving the Metro Detroit Area in Southeastern Michigan.
The following fantastic list of advice comes courtesy of legendary jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, a musical genius who died exactly 30 years ago, on February 17th of 1982. The list was transcribed by saxophonist Steve Lacy in 1960.
T.MONK’S ADVICE (1960)
JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT A DRUMMER, DOESN’T MEAN YOU DON’T HAVE TO KEEP TIME.
PAT YOUR FOOT & SING THE MELODY IN YOUR HEAD, WHEN YOU PLAY.
STOP PLAYING ALL THOSE WEIRD NOTES (THAT BULLSHIT), PLAY THE MELODY!
MAKE THE DRUMMER SOUND GOOD.
DISCRIMINATION IS IMPORTANT.
YOU’VE GOT TO DIG IT TO DIG IT, YOU DIG?
ALWAYS KNOW… (MONK)
IT MUST BE ALWAYS NIGHT, OTHERWISE THEY WOULDN’T NEED THE LIGHTS.
LET’S LIFT THE BAND STAND!!
I WANT TO AVOID THE HECKLERS.
DON’T PLAY THE PIANO PART, I’M PLAYING THAT. DON’T LISTEN TO ME. I’M SUPPOSED TO BE ACCOMPANYING YOU!
THE INSIDE OF THE TUNE (THE BRIDGE) IS THE PART THAT MAKES THE OUTSIDE SOUND GOOD.
DON’T PLAY EVERYTHING (OR EVERY TIME); LET SOME THINGS GO BY. SOME MUSIC JUST IMAGINED. WHAT YOU DON’T PLAY CAN BE MORE IMPORTANT THAT WHAT YOU DO.
ALWAYS LEAVE THEM WANTING MORE.
A NOTE CAN BE SMALL AS A PIN OR AS BIG AS THE WORLD, IT DEPENDS ON YOUR IMAGINATION.
STAY IN SHAPE! SOMETIMES A MUSICIAN WAITS FOR A GIG, & WHEN IT COMES, HE’S OUT OF SHAPE & CAN’T MAKE IT.
WHEN YOU’RE SWINGING, SWING SOME MORE!
(WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR TONIGHT? SHARP AS POSSIBLE!)
DON’T SOUND ANYBODY FOR A GIG, JUST BE ON THE SCENE. THESE PIECES WERE WRITTEN SO AS TO HAVE SOMETHING TO PLAY, & TO GET CATS INTERESTED ENOUGH TO COME TO REHEARSAL.
YOU’VE GOT IT! IF YOU DON’T WANT TO PLAY, TELL A JOKE OR DANCE, BUT IN ANY CASE, YOU GOT IT! (TO A DRUMMER WHO DIDN’T WANT TO SOLO).
WHATEVER YOU THINK CAN’T BE DONE, SOMEBODY WILL COME ALONG & DO IT. A GENIUS IS THE ONE MOST LIKE HIMSELF.
THEY TRIED TO GET ME TO HATE WHITE PEOPLE, BUT SOMEONE WOULD ALWAYS COME ALONG & SPOIL IT.
Posted by Grosse Pointe Music Academy Staff
Grosse Pointe Music Academy is a private music institution offering private lessons and group classes in musical instrument and voice. We have locations in Grosse Pointe on the Eastside of Detroit and on the Westside of Detroit in Canton Township.